Pay Attention to Your Teeth!

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Author: Leonard Simmons

A family dentistry office today is a full service dental practice, with services ranging from prevention, to restoration and cosmetic dental procedures.  Most family dentists prefer to begin relationships with their patients when they are infants and toddlers, and stay with them through the “braces years” and into adulthood and dentures.  Most welcome all ages, in fact, they think it is best.


If you think of your dentist as the person who gives you a checkup and a cleaning, you may want to reconsider that image.  Some offer both dental and orthodontic service. (Dental refers to the teeth; orthodontics involves the mouth as a whole). This kind of a dental practice means that problems can be corrected, and prevented, under one roof, reducing the need for referrals.


Here is a list of some of the offerings in a modern dental practice:  Early treatment of child’s primary teeth; general treatment of teeth of all ages; cosmetic dentistry; restorative dental procedures; treatment of TMJ and TMD (jaw disorders); root canal; dentures and implants; teeth whitening and veneers; and braces, including the invisible braces which have become all the rage among adults and teens, because they are transparent and not conspicuous like metal braces.  They snap on to the tooth and slowly persuade them into a new alignment. Some dentists even offer solutions for snoring, involving devices that direct the location of the jaw during sleep.


We mentioned that dentists like to start with kids at a young age.  They have learned that a child’s initial visit to the dentist establishes trust and leaves the child with a positive impression of the dentist, and of the process of “going to the dentist”.  Many dental professionals advise parents to bring a youngster for its first visit sometime around its first birthday.


A general dental practice is dedicated to preventing dental problems by instructing and encouraging regular hygiene visits, checkups and stressing the importance of dental self-care at home.  As teeth age, restorative services may come into play.  A dentist can fill in gaps of a missing tooth using a bridge, partial bridge, crown or implant. 


Another popular technological advancement in dentistry involves removing old, metal fillings and replacing them with colored resin or porcelain.  Some metallic fillings contain traces of mercury, which is toxic.  Resin and porcelain products are safer and more closely resemble a natural tooth.


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